MY DAYS IN THE LIFE OF AFGHANISTAN
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Imagine. Two women –
one who runs a gym for women and the other, a radio news
reader – become Meembers of Parliament. Fawzia Gailani is
a 32-year old mother with six children, Parwin Mohmand,
a 40-year-old mother with four children.
Both women are the
protagonists of a documentary by the production company,
Women's Eyes. Between shots of Afghan women in full garb
on exercise machines at Gailani's gym, and her in Parliament,
is an astonishing and refreshing contrast. Gailani now lives in
Kabul, and as her position as a politician requires, has
personal bodyguards to protect her.
Parwin is seen in conversation
with Kuchi male leaders who want to get land to graze their cattle,
without having to pay for it. They don't like to have their women
photographed, but after much reluctance, give in. We see the daily
chores of the Kuchi women – making cheese, stitching and
rebuilding the mud wall of a kitchen; the men sit around, watching.
When asked why they don't help the women, they say, it's
women's work; we do outside work.
managed a women's feature service
headquartered in India from 1991-2000. She has been travelling to
Afghanistan since 2004, conducting assessments and doing capacity building
with media and civil society organisations. In 2006, on an extended stay in
Kabul, she started a blog, Letter from Afghanistan.
Anand is the author of The
Beauty Game, and co-editor of
World Social Forum: Challenging Empires
and Whose World is it Anyway?
The United Nations, Civil Society and the Multilateral Future.